Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:20 PM
Redfairen (624 posts)
Report: Iran oil revenues down 45 percent
Source: Associated Press
A senior lawmaker says Iran's revenues from oil and gas exports have dropped by 45 percent because of sanctions over its suspect nuclear program.
It was a clear admission that the sanctions are having a severe impact, but Iran refuses to reign in its program.
Gholam Reza Kateb, head of the parliament's budget committee, says oil exports dropped 40 percent in the last nine months, cutting revenue dropped 45 percent. He was quoted Monday by the semiofficial ISNA news agency. Banking sanctions caused part of the drop.
Iran is under U.N. sanctions and Western oil, banking and trade restrictions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/IRAN_NUCLEAR?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-01-07-12-02-21
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Response to Redfairen (Original post)
Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:53 PM
happyslug (10,764 posts)
3. The Saudi -Iranian war is heating up.
That war is a result of the Iranian victory in Iraq (Yes, they did NOT send any troops into Iraq, but it is their allies who came out on top, thus Iran won the war). The House of Saud has been fighting this ever since, first with the war of the Sunni in Iraq against the US (Using Al Queda as a cover) then expanded into Syria after the overthrow of Marabek In Egypt, and the various unsuccessful revolts in the Persian Gulf.
You first must understand how the Kingship of Saudi Arabia is operated. King Saud I, made present day Saudi Arabia, he conquered most of it in the 1920s and 1930s and lived to 1952. He had many wives, who had children. Under Arab Culture each of King Saud I's wives had to have their own home, for themselves and their children. Thus King Saud would move from palace to palace to see his wives and each wife's children. These children also interacted together under King Saud, but due to the nature of a man with multiple wives, tended to band together with their full brothers and sisters more then with their half brothers and sisters.
More on King Saud I:
King Saud I, also followed Arab Culture that when he died he was succeeded by one of his sons, as elected by his sons. This has continued to this day, as one King died, the remaining sons of King Saud I get together to select which one of them will be the next king.
Technically under the "Basic Law" issued by King Fahd in 1992, the King picks his successor, the Crown Prince of Arabia, but the sons seems to have continue to pick the Crown Prince. In 2007 Abdullah changed the law again and formed up an "Allegiance Council" to select the Crown Prince. In 2011 and 2012 the Allegiance Council supposedly picked the Crown Prince but there is some debate on that (i.e. may have just been a rubber stamp by other means, or could be infighting between fractions within the Royal Household).
Part of the problem may be the number of sons of King Saud is getting low, but none of the surviving sons want the Crown Prince (and thus the Kingship) to go to the next generation. King Abdullah appears to understand that sooner or later the King of Saudi Arabia will NOT be a son of King Saud I, but his half brothers seem to be uncomfortable with that idea.
Remember at the time of his death, King Saud is believed to have had 37 to 45 sons (Depending on the source, the exact number is unknown). The most sons (Seven) to his wife Hussa Al Sudayri. Her sons are known as the Sudairi Seven (after her). They are now down to three (and only two are active) AND two others had died in the last two years,
The remaining three brothers of the Sudairi Seven are Turki (II) (born 1934)
Salman (born 1935; crown prince 18 June 2012 – Present) and Ahmed (born 1942). That makes the youngest 70 years old. The second youngest 77 years of age (These are the two politically active brothers). Turki is a wide card. His position is unclear, there are reports he was part of a reform movement in the 1970s but there are no records to support that (given that he was a member of the Sudairi Seven, no records may have been kept). He married the daughter of a Sufi Islam Religious Leader and refused to divorce her, instead he moved to Egypt and Florida till her death in 2010 when he returned to Arabia. The House of Saud is tied in Wahhabism who have always disliked Sufism, thus the reason he stayed out of Arabia for so long.
With the death of his wife he returned home and the following was attributed to him, but he later said it was a forgery. That might be true, but it also indicate the growing unrest in Arabia, especially the Shiite dominated part along the Persian Gulf.
In a letter published by Wagze news agency in July 2010, Prince Turki is reported to warn Saudi Arabia's ruling family of a fate similar to that of Iraq's executed dictator Saddam Hussein and the ousted Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, calling on them to escape before people "cut off our heads in streets." He argued that the Saudi royal family is no longer able to "impose" itself on people, arguing that deviations in carrying out the religious concepts that make up the basis of the Saudi government "have gotten out of our hands," so that the opposition views our acts as "interfering in people's private life and restricting their liberties." He further urged "Do it today before tomorrow as long as the money we have is enough for us to live anywhere in the world; from Switzerland to Canada and Australia…we should not return as long as we are able to get out safely, we must take our families quickly and pull out.", continuing "Do not fool yourself by relying on the United States or Britain or Israel, because they will not survive the loss; the only door open is now the exit door of no return. Let us go before it closes." He finally warned against a military coup against the ruling family, saying "no one will attack us from outside but our armed forces will attack us." However, later Turki bin Abdulaziz told Saudi Press Agency that the alleged letter to him circulated by some media and internet sites was nonexistent and fabricated by enemy parties wishing to spread confusion and excitement.
Now, you also have to understand in most hereditary dictatorship, it last about three generation then breaks up. The original dictator power is absolute and unchallenged, on his death, he is succeeded by a second generation, in most cases his sons (but sometime by others, Stalin set up such a dictatorship for the Soviet Union, he was succeeded by the people he picked to help him remove all the leaders of the Communist Revolution of 1917 in the late 1930s when Stalin finally took complete control over the Soviet Union).
The Second Generation, having grown together under the first dictator, work together to stay in power, they are more afraid of losing power then gaining power so tend to be conservative, no big power plays to get or retain power. The actual leaders may change, but the leadership as whole stays about the same. This was true for Khrushchev to Gorbachev in the Soviet Union, and is true of the House of Saud Today.
The Third Generation finally takes over as the last of the second generation died off. In the case of the Soviet Union the third generation started with Gorbachev. The problem with the third generation is it is a generation raised in privilege, and protection, protection provided by the second generation, privilege as the sons of that generation. On the other hand, they are NOT raise to work together, but raise as independent families. Thus as the second generation dies out, the third generations starts to fight over who gets what. something the second generation would have avoided at all costs (even if it meant members of the Second Generation lost power, prestige and privileges). The third generation do NOT have that comradeship of the Second generation and start to fight among themselves. Gorbachev and his limited reformers vs Yeltsin and his radical reformers, vs hard liners. if you remember that time period, massive opposition and hardship occurred in the Soviet Union as each group proceeded to fight each other over which way to go. It lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yeltsin came out on top, but only temporary, Putin finally took over as it became clear Yeltsin's plan was NOT working.
Saudi Arabia is much like the Soviet Union in 1985. The last of the Second generations were still around and wanted to stay in power for they see the third generation getting ready to fight it out. The second generations wants to do all it can to prevent such a fight, but do not know how to stop it for it is the result of the change in generation and the new generation did not have the fear the second generation had for the first dictator. i suspect the above comment was a comment made at that time, maybe not by Turki, but by someone who wanted the message out. I also believe the remaining sons of Saud I, are seeing the knives coming out of the scabbards of the third generation and want to do everything they can to prevent the fight.
On top of this, Iran and the House of Saud have been at loggerheads since the US Invasion of Iraq. The lost of Iraq to Iran is resented by the House of Saud, AND they see Iran moving into Arabia during the upcoming fight among the third generation. To prevent such an incursion (notice I use the term Incursion, I do NOT expect an invasion, but I do expect massive support for the Shiites in Arabia while the House of Saud decided who is to rule Arabia).
Thus the recent move by Arabia in Syria and Libya. They will spend all they can to weaken Iranian allies, and strengthen their own allies. If this means pumping more and more oil, so be it. The House of Saud needs the money, if they plan to stay in power in Arabia.
This also includes pressure on the US, to enforce sanctions against Iran, not to harm Iraq itself, but to deny Iran money to continue the war both are fighting. This war seems to be heating up, Saudi Arabia wants to drive Iran out of the area around Arabia so when the third generations takes over, the third generation has time to work out how they will rule Arabia without also having to deal with Iran at the same time. Given the age of the last of King Saud I's sons, time is NOT on the side of the House of Saud, thus the recent moves to destroy whatever allies Iran has.